I'm not a breakfast person...like at all. But there are few other meals at Walt Disney World that garner a cult following quite like breakfast at The Polynesian's Kona Cafe...so clearly I couldn't ignore this meal forever.
Located in the Great Ceremonial House of The Polynesian Resort, Kona Cafe is the smaller and more casual of the two table service restaurants at the resort. The restaurants is open air into the rest of the bustling lobby, mere steps from Ohana and the fabulous Tambu Lounge. The decor is bright, cheery, and otherwise unassuming. Though not terribly themed, it definitely blends well with the rest of the resort.
Lunch and dinner, in true polynesian tradition, has a strong Asian influence...but breakfast is pretty traditional. (plus pineapple and macadamia nuts...) There are a few items on the menu that has developed a cult on par with my beloved school bread and zebra domes.
Lets not waste anytime. The above photo shows the big guy himself...TONGA TOAST. You've surely seen our video recipe for vegan tonga toast, and rest assured that you can get a vegan version at Kona Cafe as well, as long as you call make a special request 48 hours ahead of your reservation.
Tonga toast is essentially sourdough french toast, stuffed with stickey gooey bananas and rolled in cinnamon sugar. The toast is served with a strawberry sauce on the side...which isn't really necessary. These flavors go together surprisingly well, even though I was weary about the cinnamon and banana. The bread is VERY thick and has a wonderful chew to it. This thing will stick with you for a while, thats for sure.
Normally this dish is served with bacon...or some other gross breakfast meat. The server will gladly swap for another side. Our fruit was fresh and exactly what it should be, even if the portion was pretty small.
No less grand is the macadamia nut pancakes! Why this dish doesn't have the same following of its toasty cousin is unknown to me...but it definitely deserves it. The consistency is absolutely perfect. Fluffy on the inside with a perfect golden outside with just a little crisp to it. The inside is positively overflowing with macadamia nuts! With the market price of these tropical nuts I was a little surprised to find so many, but it was a happy surprise indeed.
The pancakes are topped with sweet crushed pineapple and a heavenly macadamia nut butter. I usually drown my pancakes in syrup. However, between the rich butter and very sweet pineapple these didn't need a single drop of syrup, though it is available. The added crunch of the nuts inside make this a sincerely superlative dish. Amazing.
In addition to the entree items there are also a few fun drink options. The popular Disney juice mixture of passion fruit, orange juice, and guava appears here...this time called "lilikoi juice." I don't care for the stuff, but we know a lot of people can handle the overt sweetness. Also on the menu is a french pressed pot of 100% Kona coffee! The pot serves two...and is absolutely amazing. We might joke sometimes about our preference of Nescafe, but this coffee is the real deal. After a week or so of subpar coffee, this is a welcome and delicious change.
Based solely on our experience with the macadamia nut pancakes, and my horrible caffeine addiction, Kona Cafe has become a must do on every Disney World trip. Coming from someone who "doesn't like breakfast" thats saying a lot. Check it out on your next visit to the Polynesian!